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India’s app ban as painful acupuncture


Mao Zedong is passé in China today, but some of his aphorisms still ring true. To be attacked by the enemy is a good thing, he said, because it means that you are doing something to hurt him.


At a press briefing, the spokesperson of China’s foreign ministry criticised India’s decision to ban 200-odd Chinese apps, and linked the ban with US urging of similar action by other countries.


She proceeded to lecture India on observing the principles of a market economy, and the wrongheadedness of harming the interests of Indian citizens as well as Chinese businesses, and reminded India of its ancient association with China, the value of Independence and steering clear of US guile.


She even quoted Tagore and threw in the popularity in China of the Hindi movie Dangal for good measure. But not for once did she mention the border tensions.


What this means is that India must persist with its low-level economic action against China, and use not just access to India’s market but also the example that Indian action vis-à-vis China could set for other countries, to put pressure on China.


This is not to say that India should rule out use of reciprocal military action in case of Chinese transgression of India’s territorial sovereignty.


But that is not the only means of responding to Chinese tactics. Beijing is capable of adopting varied pressure tactics and making Chinese businesses hurt is one way of making China’s leaders understand that these would not subdue India into meek acceptance of China’s unilateral strong-arm measures across the Line of Actual Control (LoAC).


China should abandon its policy of not settling the LoAC, even refusing to exchange maps to delineate on the ground the perceptions of both countries, which would constitute the basis for negotiated settlement of the border.


New Delhi must raise in appropriate fora Pakistan’s deafening silence on China’s religious persecution of its Uighur minority in Xinjiang — praying five times a day or growing a beard is considered dangerous signs of Islamic radicalism. It would send the right signal to both China and Pakistan.


Courtesy - The Economic Times.

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